Cryptococcosis is not considered a public health threat. The organism cannot spread from one animal to another through contact
with tissue or body fluids, and the organism does not aerosolize from infected tissues. Animals can serve as sentinel species
for monitoring the disease in a geographic area.2 A hydrated lime solution (40 g/L water) at 1.36 L/m2 can be used to treat the environment, such as areas with a high concentration of pigeon droppings.8
As the most commonly diagnosed systemic mycosis in cats, cryptococcosis should be considered in the differential diagnoses
for any cat with upper respiratory, ocular, dermatologic, or neurologic signs. Definitive diagnosis is best obtained by cytologic
or histologic organism identification. Antigen titers are an essential diagnostic test to monitor response to treatment. Treatment
with fluconazole or itraconazole is the first choice. Life-threatening cases can be treated with amphotericin B and flucytosine
if they fail to respond to a triazole antifungal. Treatment continues for one to two months after clinical signs resolve.
Treatment fails more often in patients with ocular and CNS disease.3
The authors thank Theresa E. Rizzi, DVM, DACVP, at the Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at Oklahoma State University
for photographing the fine-needle aspirate microscope slides.
Holly Polf, DVM*
Bissonnet/Southampton Veterinary Clinic
2028 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005
Michelle Fabiani, DVM, DACVR
Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists
1111 West Loop South
Houston, TX 77027
James F. Swanson, DVM, MS, DACVO
Gulf Coast Animal Eye Clinic
1551 Campbell Road
Houston, TX 77055
*Dr. Polf's current address is Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, Diagnostic Imaging, 1111 West Loop South, Houston, TX 77027.
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